Instructional scaffolding to help build skills mastery.
What we’d love to see…
Written instructions for parents.
A potentially addictive 3D mobile game cum Math and Spelling learning app for grades 1-3.
The Land of Learnia is a Math and Spelling learning app that is set in a 3D virtual world where students are tasked to open up the learning paths across the islands by mastering various skills from Common Core Math and Spelling for grades 1 -3. Each island in Learnia contains work from a math or spelling grade level and students can choose to undertake work from one or more islands at any one time. As rewards, players earn animals that they can feed and play with in Learnia.
Students begin their learning journey on the central Island of Learnia where they meet the owl, Waddle. Waddle likes to take a walk along the Spelling Street and the Path of Math but these paths are blocked by skill stones. Players have to help move the stones out of the way by passing the time-based challenges on each skill stone. Each stone represents a math skill or spelling list to be mastered and the stones can be dealt with in any order. Players are advised to prepare themselves well for the tests by completing a series of lessons and training exercises provided.
Once conquered, these skills stones are converted to bronze, silver or gold depending on the level of mastery, and you can repeat these tests to improve your achievements. As the learning paths are cleared, Waddle is able to move forward and collect coins and gems along the paths adding to the student’s collection.
Each skill stone along the Spelling Street teaches a new spelling list and it comes with 4 different spelling exercises to help students learn and retain the new words. As each word is introduced, a sentence showing how to use the word in context is given verbally.
At the other end of the central island, the Path of Math leads the way to the various math skills from grade 1 to 3. A combination of lessons and hands-on learning exercises help prepare students to master the skills at each skill stone. First, students are encouraged to explore the math concept using digital manipulatives to build understanding. Then they are guided step-by-step on how to solve math problems. Appropriate support and useful tips are given when needed. Students can choose to write their answers on the screen or choose from a virtual keyboard.
What I like in this app is that different problem solving strategies are taught using various tools. These math strategies help students make connection between different mathematical concepts and build upon what they have already learnt. With stronger understanding and practice, students learn the math skills more easily and quickly.
Students are rewarded with a shower of coins and gems after each exercise and test, regardless of the score. Gems collected give game time to play 4 different types of computer games (Molecule Madness, Snakia, Tic-Tac-Toc and Five In a Row) while the collected coins can be used to buy a variety of animals unique to each island, to populate the Learnia world. Players will need more coins to get these animals food (which has expiry dates) and play items. It’s deeply satisfying for players to see their achievements and collections proudly displayed on the Learnia map. They can move around the map, exploring the different landscapes and immersing in the environmental sounds. Just watching what’s going on in the Land of Learnia can be relaxing for students.
The Learnia app is free to download with access to 14 skills stones, 6 for math and 8 for spelling. Thereafter, you have to purchase access to the island(s) corresponding to your child’s grade level – $4.99 per grade for spelling and $7.99 for each grade level of math. [Update : Teachers and their students get full access for free from now till August 2019, find instructions here.]
A student’s progress is saved in the cloud and synced across tablets (iOS and Android devices), and parents and teachers can share access to the student’s account. The app is also suitable for use in a classroom where teachers can set up accounts for each student and monitor what each student is working on in real time. They have information on which questions each student needs help with and review these with the student.
The Land of Learnia combines the best of mobile gaming and digital learning in one app. Students will want to come back frequently to check out their Learnia world and do some math and/or spelling work in order to feed their pets. There is a lot of content (especially for math) included which will provide hours of work to help students build confidence and mastery.
Google Play Learnia
Spelling – $4.99/grade level
Math – $7.99/grade level [Update : Teachers and their students get full access for free from now till August 2019, find instructions here.]
Learnia, spelling & math games
by Learnia Inc
Wouldn't it be great if your child would enjoy learning math and spelling skills?
Kids explore a 3D world with varied scenery and animals. To advance, kids master skill stones containing exercises.
NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.
Step-by-step instructions, summaries, examples in lessons are presented through fun videos and songs.
What we’d love to see…
An option to remove or adjust the timer for the final challenge in each course.
A complete Math and English learning app that keeps students engaged and motivated to learn and upgrade.
Is your child having problems mastering a particular Math or English lesson no matter what you do to help? My youngest has been struggling to remember the basic rules of writing a simple sentence despite having done many written exercises. Then I let him have a go at the app, Learning Upgrade. To my surprise, he picked up the skills easily within the day!
What worked for my son (who is a visual learner) is the combination of teaching through catchy songs, lively animations and entertaining videos plus game-like exercises that are fun to do. Learning Upgrade is a very engaging learning app. It has lessons that he likes to watch again and again, pop-style songs (highlighting the key words) that he tries to sing along with and exercises that he is willing to redo because all the questions are attractively presented and it is easy for him to input his answers. He especially likes the app’s positive and enthusiastic response whenever he submits a correct answer.
What I like, on the other hand, is the use of visual representations, summaries and examples to teach, the helpful guided exercises that reinforce the learning points, the different ways of questioning to ensure a student’s full understanding of the topic, the comprehensive coverage and the gradual and progressive manner in which skills are being taught.
Students are allowed to progress to the next lesson only when they have earned 100 points (from correct answers) and attained at least 75% correct. A rewards system is in place to encourage students to repeat the exercises in order to improve on their scores. At the completion of a course, students have to pass the final challenge before moving to the next course. But you can also choose to unlock all the lessons in your account settings so that your child can jump to any lesson.
I appreciate how the app supports students who need a little extra help in answering the questions in the learning games that follow each video lesson. Lines in passages are underlined as they are read out. There is a speaker button to tap if students need to hear the questions or instructions again. For answers that require reading, students can hear the individual words before attempting to answer. They also have the opportunity to check their answers before submitting.
The app doesn’t miss any teaching moments either. A short animation repeating the answer follows the correct answer to give further reinforcement. When an incorrect answer is submitted, the correct answer is always demonstrated and the app does not move to the next screen until the student has enough time to review the answer.
Learning Upgrade is free to download and comes with a video on the course descriptions and 6 demo lessons (with exercises) – 3 each for Math and English. If you register with an email, you will have free access to 8 lessons for each subject. To begin, choose between English or Math and then decide between 3 starting points. You can choose to start from the beginning of the curriculum, take a placement test to determine a course that is appropriate for your child’s learning needs or just select a course level that you want to review.
Currently, the app offers 60 lessons for each of the English Upgrade level 1-5 and Math Upgrade level K-8 courses, that’s more than 900 lessons in total. A course on Algebra was also added recently. To continue beyond the free lessons, you have 3 subscription plans to choose from – $7.99 for 1 month access to all lessons, $19.99 for 3 months and $59.99 for 12 months. You can access your lessons from the web as well as your smart phones and tablets. An internet connection is required for loading the lessons and saving the student’s progress.
Learning Upgrade is a comprehensive Math and English learning app that complements the school curriculum. Lessons are professionally done and enjoyable. Review exercises are varied and effective. Whether your child is trying to catch up or stay ahead of the class, Learning Upgrade is an excellent learning companion to have.
Ability to design your own Math Fact drills that target your child’s current learning goals. Interactive student tools that help them to visualize the math equations.
What we’d love to see…
Math Facts including ‘0’. Color and redo buttons directly accessible in the Students’ section.
A Math Facts practice app that is fully adaptable to the needs of students of different abilities at different stages of Math Facts learning.
A mastery of Math Facts enable our kids to solve complex Math problems easily and quickly. More importantly, a fast recall of Math Facts give them the tools for handling daily life skills like telling time and counting money. If you are looking for an app for learning and memorizing Math Facts, you need to check out Math Facts To 100 by FuzzyBees.
This app teaches addition, subtraction, multiplication and division Math Facts. It is fully customizable to match what your child is working on and it is equipped with supportive learning tools that teaches your child how to solve math problems independently. These help facilitate understanding and reduce frustrations when completing math drills that are necessary in achieving Math Facts fluency.
Read on for the app’s various powerful features.
Fully Customizable Settings
The strength of this app is the flexible settings which allow you to design your own Math Facts drills. You can break down the steps to mastering Math Facts into manageable levels based on your child’s learning needs/goals and set up the app accordingly. Not only can you choose which Math Facts to learn and set how many equations to solve at each session, you can also tailor the types of equations to be solved and the kind of support to offer to your child.
Additional customizable details that further adapt the app to what your chid is familiar with are grouped under the Display section of the Settings page. These include skip counting by the multiplier or multiplicand, vertical or horizontal equation format, and the phone or calculator number pad layout. You also have the option to mute the sounds for various actions e.g. incorrect answers given.
There is no timer here but the time taken for completion of each session is recorded. A maximum of 4 different settings for different learning goals or different child can be prepared and saved at any one time.
Visual Learning Tools
The app is equipped with 3 types of interactive student tools that you can use to demonstrate to your child how to solve a math problem. Different child learns differently and presenting them with different approaches to solving the same problem allows you to discover the one that helps your child understand the concept best. This also encourages your child to seek out a different method of solving a problem when one strategy does not work.
The 3 learning tools provided in the app are the Hundred Board, Multiplication Board and a White Board. Students are free to choose the visual tool or combination of tools that they want to work with for each question. A color tool (consisting of 9 colors) is available for highlighting key numbers during the problem solving process.
The 100 Board is equipped with visual help (which you can opt out in the Settings) that highlight the steps to solving Math problems more effectively. For example, instead of counting up or down for addition and subtraction equations, students learn to get the same answer more quickly by adding or subtracting in tens (vertically) and in ones (horizontally).
If they tap and hold on any number on the board, they can also see what it means to add and subtract a quantity from this number.
For multiplication, the 100 Board will show students how to use skip counting to arrive at the answers. The visual help show the sequence of multiples (times tables) which students have to memorize.
The Multiplication Board (x2 to x10), on the other hand, helps students to multiply and divide easily within 100. Just tap the factors along the left most column and the top most row and the intersected number will give the answer.
The third tool, the White Board acts as a free space for students to do their math working. This is my youngest’s favorite as he is more comfortable with using counters which he draws on the board using the color tool. For him, the act of sharing a large number of counters equally helps him to better understand the concept of division.
Creating Math Drills
Before starting to use the app, you will need to find the Settings section that is hidden from the Students’ section. Pull down the equation box to reveal the Settings, color tool and redo buttons. The Teaching Tips and Reports sections are also accessible from the Settings section. You can learn about the various app features and how to use them in the Teaching Tips.
In the default setting, the app generates 50 random basic Math Fact equations of mixed operations in one session. Besides solving for answers to the equations, problems asking for the 1st or 2nd operand are also included (e.g. ? x 12 = 36). This is a great Math Facts workout for advanced students to improve their mental math. To modify the types of problems in this ‘Generate’ mode, you can adjust the parameters like the maximum values of the operands and results as well as the math operators tested.
To prepare drills focused on specific group(s) of Math Facts in the ‘List’ mode, you load the in-app basic facts and choose/add the one(s) to work on. Single or mixed operators, sequential or random equations, one or many problems, the choice is yours. If your child has math facts homework from school, you can even input these equations into the app. This way, your child can make use of the app’s visual tools to help him/her complete the homework.
At a glance, the reports show you the date and time, percentage of correct answers, number of equations attempted, time taken and whether visual help was used for each completed session. Tap on each session and you will see the list of equations that were answered incorrectly on the first try, so that you can have your child work on them again.
Math Facts to 100 is a dynamic app for learning the basic Math Facts visually and progressively. It is designed to meet the needs of children of different abilities and students at different stages of Math Facts fluency through instructional scaffolding. Highly recommended.
*** From the developer of the award winning Count To 100 ***
Math Facts To 100 is an app that generates math facts equations and provides visualization for the equations using the hundred board.
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Dragon Times is a fun interactive card game designed for kids six and over that helps kids learn multiplication. With the advent of common core math, my older son has struggled to understand the variety of ways to solve a math problem. Dragon Times has helped him to memorize his multiplication factors in a fun easy way that makes him engaged. Inside the box are 60 spell cards, 42 dragon cards, two times spinner grids, a spinner and instructions. My son is a visual learner and seeing the differences on the dragon cards helped him to differentiate even versus odd, and look to identify unique features on each of the cards.
What we love…
fun way to teach kids about multiplication that involves a math game instead of worksheets
What we’d love to see…
a larger printable times table or spell book so that my son could reference it during gameplay.
Fun interactive game which encourages kids to learn their times tables while doing spells and practicing real time learning.
Gameplay is fun – although it takes a bit of practice to make sure kids are really looking at the cards to understand the features on each one. In level 1, the dealer passes out six spell cards to each player (2 or more can play). Next, the dealer places eight cards down with the dragons facing upward. The first player then looks at their cards and tries to find a pair of numbers that when multiplied gives as a product of one the Dragon numbers that are down – there is a Times Table (aka spell book) that can help them. When we were first playing this, a parent paired with our son to help him look at the cards and identify the characteristics. If the player makes a lucky pair, they show the other players and get to pick up the Dragon card. Gameplay continues until one player finishes their spell cards or until all the Dragons are saved. The winner of this stage is the person who has the most Dragon cards.
After your child has mastered Level 1, there is a second level where they can tame dragons and guide them to safety. This uses the spinner and previously saved Dragons from the first stage. Each player spins the spinner. At each spin, players look at the Dragons and numbers to see if one has a particular feature that the spinner landed on. This could be a factor, even/odd, square number. If it matches, they keep the Dragon near the spinner and it is considered tamed. When a player does not have a lucky Dragon, they wait for the next spin. There is also an Evil Swap Spell card where players exchange Dragons in their hand clockwise around. The Evil Swap spell was confusing for my son, because he didn’t understand why he needed to pass his cards on. For the first few games we didn’t use it until he got a better hang of how the game worked and started looking at the different characteristics of the cards. The winner of this phase is when only one or none of the players have any Dragon Cards. The winner is the one that has the most tamed dragons near the spinner.
Sample of the Dragon Cards
Dragon Cards – these cards represent multiples of numbers 1 to 10 – every number is a dragon. Each dragon has features to help children know the factors of the number, if the number is even or odd or if it’s a square number. Numbers 1-10 are Baby Dragons,odd numbers are Snake Dragons, even numbers stand on four legs. Multiples of 3 (or numbers divisible by 3) have one horn, multiples of 4 have wings, multiples of 5 have big ears, multiples of 6 have a double tail, multiples of 7 have pointy tails, multiples of 8 have a mane, multiples of 9 have three horns, multiples of 10 have two heads, and Square numbers breathe or throw fire.
Sample of the Spell Cards
Spell Cards – these are the numbers from one to 10. There is also a “Wizard’s Choice” Spell card which can replace any spell card. The “Wizard’s Choice” card can also be used as a “wild” card to help the player capture a dragon in Stage 1.
I enjoyed playing this game with my son. I noticed that it helped him take on more perspective about which cards had which features were on each card and his math skills improved quite a bit!
In terms of enhancements, I wish there were a printable on the Dragon Times table as I just found one online and printed it out – the reference one for my son was a bit too small when he wanted to play quickly. There is an included spellbook which is likely perfect for most kids, but my son wanted a larger visual to help him quickly run his finger down the times table.
Overall, this is a fun game that teaches while you learn and engages kids to learn a fundamental math skill. I enjoyed it because I didn’t have to draw diagrams, make circles or have to show my son how to solve the problem in multiple ways. It was simply pure enjoyment as we learned math times tables and real time learning.
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